In a first, SC approves elevation of India’s first openly gay lawyer as Delhi HC judge

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for the elevation of Saurabh Kirpal, senior advocate, as Judge in the Delhi High Court.

The Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has recommended the elevation of Kirpal in its meeting held on November 11, 2021.

“The Supreme Court Collegium in its meeting held on November 11, 2021 has approved the proposal for elevation of Saurabh Kirpal, advocate, as Judge in the Delhi High Court,” a statement by the collegium said.

The three-member collegium that makes recommendations for judges of High Courts comprises Justice UU Lalit and Justice AM Khanwilkar.

As per media reports, in October 2017 the Delhi High Court Collegium had unanimously recommended Saurabh Kirpal, for the appointment as the permanent judge of the Delhi High Court.

Delay in recommending Kirpal’s name is being considered due to his sexual orientation, as Kirpal would be India’s first openly gay judge. Kirpal’s name has been repeatedly sent to the government, which previously had stalled processing of the recommendation.

Kirpal in an interview this year had said, “The fact that my partner of twenty years is a person of foreign origin is a security risk is such a specious reason that it leaves one to believe that it is not the whole truth. That is the reason I believe my sexuality is the reason why my candidature has not been considered for elevation as a judge.”

In another statement, the Supreme Court Collegium in its meeting held on November 11, 2021, has, on reconsideration, also resolved to reiterate its earlier recommendation for the elevation of four advocates as Judges in the Delhi High Court.

The four advocates are — Tara Vitasta Ganju, Anish Dayal, Amit Sharma, and Mini Pushkarna.

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